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The appearance of a rare virus, called Enterovirus D68, should serve as a reminder that cold and flu season has returned. With all viruses, your best defense is practicing healthy habits, such as thorough handwashing, getting adequate rest and exercise, and eating a proper diet.
Enterovirus D68 was first discovered in 1962 but in recent weeks, hundreds of cases have shown up after 50 years with the disease remaining fairly inactive. Not everyone who comes in contact with the virus will have symptoms but the virus is especially hard on children with asthma and other respiratory problems. Symptoms include coughing, trouble with breathing and wheezing.
Rather than becoming alarmed, people should double up on their procedures to prevent illness. Here are some tips for staying well.
Regular yoga practice
Doing a regular yoga practice is a prescription for improved health. Yoga works on building the immune system by reducing tension. Stress has been shown to be major player in weakening the immune system
Nasal washes are one of the safest and easiest alternative remedies. Washing the nasal passages with a warm saline solution may clear up some of the symptoms of sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses). A small ceramic pot, called a Neti Pot, or over-the-counter saline sprays may be used to wash the sinuses.
Get your green tea
A morning cup of green tea may help ward off winter colds and flu. This miracle beverage may boost the immune system.
One serving, which equals two cups of green tea, contains enough polyphenols to clean up free radicals in the body. Free radicals are the bad stuff caused by exposure to pollution, chemicals and stress. The “housecleaning”done by the polyphenols gives the immune system a boost by keeping the cells in top condition.
It’s seems pretty basic but often times many of us are flunking at washing our hands regularly. Most germs are transmitted by the hands which we use to touch our eyes or noses, the entry points for germs. Keep the germs at bay by washing your hands frequently and trying to avoid touching your nose or eyes.
Healthy food equals healthy you
Your body’s immune system needs a steady dose of nutrients from vegetables, fruit and high-quality protein to perform at its best. That means skip the fast-food and candy bars, except occasionally, because they’re pretty much devoid of nutrition anyway.
Remember that old adage, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”? Well, there’s a lot of truth to that expression because apples contain quercetin, an antioxidant, also found in red onions. Some studies show that a daily quercetin supplement of 800-1,000 milligrams can boost the immune system.
Get adequate rest
Germs love sleep-deprived people because their immune systems are weaker. Help boost your body’s germ-fighting ability by getting at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night.
Gargling with water
Gargling with water can reduce your risk of catching colds this winter. Individuals who practiced this simple and free remedy at least three times a day cut their upper respiratory tract infections by 40 percent over people who didn’t, according to a study.
Gargling works to help you get over colds faster too. Switch to warm salt water as salt is a natural antiseptic that will help wash away bacteria.
The secret to staying cold-free during the fall and winter is keeping your immune system functioning at the top of its game by engaging in regular, moderate exercise. Exercise is a “win/win” situation for your immune system that makes getting off the couch definitely worth the effort.
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